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Afghan cargo trucks can travel freely to all parts of Pakistan

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(Last Updated On: July 20, 2022)

The officials of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and Pakistan agreed that from now on Afghan trucks will not be unloaded in Peshawar and Quetta of Pakistan.

The IEA and the Pakistani delegation in Kabul agreed in Tuesday’s meeting that from now on Afghan trucks will not be unloaded in Peshawar and Quetta, but will travel freely to all parts of Pakistan.

According to IEA, the same facility has been considered for Pakistani trucks when crossing Afghanistan to the Central Asia countries.

The two sides have also agreed to keep the price of coal unchanged and to facilitate trade in this field.

The two sides have also formed a joint committee for further monitoring.

In a separate meeting with IEA’s acting foreign minister, the Pakistani delegation has once again emphasized the expansion of trade relations between the two countries and said that they want to jointly invest with Afghan investors in electricity generation so that Pakistan can get electricity instead of importing coal from Afghanistan. 

In this meeting, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the IEA’s acting foreign minister, emphasized that the policy of the Islamic Emirate is to make Afghanistan the economic crossroads of the region.

Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Pakistani delegation agreed that they will provide the necessary facilities in the fields of export, import and passenger movement between the two countries.

Afghan Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce Nooruddin Azizi on Tuesday said that the country is holding talks with a Pakistani delegation to sign an agreement to facilitate bilateral trade. 

A trade delegation from Pakistan, led by Commerce Secretary Saleh Farooqui, arrived in Kabul on Monday evening to hold talks on coal imports as well as transit and barter trade between the two countries.

“The barter trade, which is a serious issue for Afghan traders, cross-staffing, the trade of materials, and coal will be discussed,” the acting Minister of Commerce and Industry Azizi said. Pakistan’s Commerce and Industry Ministry had earlier said that delegates will hold talks regarding trade, transit and transportation with the Afghan authorities.

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) had also said that Islamabad was trying to boost its trade with Afghanistan, local media reported.

Kabul had earlier raised coal prices for Pakistan, two days ahead of the delegation’s visit. The coal price has increased from USD 200 to USD 280 per tonne. The price of coal was increased owing to the constant surge of price in the global market, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Minerals and Petroleum spokesperson Ismatullah Burhan said adding that 10,000 tons of coal are exported to Pakistan every day earning the country millions.

Earlier this month, the IEA had increased the price of coal by 30 percent after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approved importing of coal from Afghanistan. As per Sharif, Pakistan would save more than two billion dollars by importing coal from Afghanistan.

Sharif had approved the import of super-critical quality coal from Afghanistan in Pakistani rupee instead of dollars to help generate low-cost electricity in his country.

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Musk says Twitter deal could move ahead with ‘bot’ info

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(Last Updated On: August 6, 2022)

Elon Musk said Saturday his planned $44 billion takeover of Twitter should move forward if the company can confirm some details about how it measures whether user accounts are ‘spam bots’ or real people, AP reported Saturday. 

The billionaire and Tesla CEO has been trying to back out of his April agreement to buy the social media company, leading Twitter to sue him last month to complete the acquisition. Musk countersued, accusing Twitter of misleading his team about the true size of its user base and other problems he said amounted to fraud and breach of contract.

Both sides are headed toward an October trial in a Delaware court.

“If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms,” Musk tweeted early Saturday. “However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”

Twitter declined comment Saturday. The company has repeatedly disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission an estimate that fewer than 5% of user accounts are fake or spam, with a disclaimer that it could be higher. Musk waived his right to further due diligence when he signed the April merger agreement.

Twitter has argued in court that Musk is deliberately trying to tank the deal because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests. In a court filing Thursday, it describes his counterclaims as an imagined story “contradicted by the evidence and common sense.”

“Musk invents representations Twitter never made and then tries to wield, selectively, the extensive confidential data Twitter provided him to conjure a breach of those purported representations,” company attorneys wrote.

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Fresh fruits exports from Afghanistan increase this year: ACCI

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(Last Updated On: August 5, 2022)

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Investment (ACCI) said Friday that fresh fruits exports have increased from the country abroad.

According to ACCI, the export of fresh fruits have increased significantly compared to previous years, and most of these fruits are exported to Pakistan, India and some other neighboring countries of Afghanistan.

ACCI members have added that if the export process continues in the same way, gardeners and traders can export fresh seasonal fruits regularly.

According to the members of this chamber, Pakistan has recently provided more facilities for Afghanistan’s exports.

However, producers and exporters of fresh fruit in the country said that compared to last year, melon products have decreased by 50 percent, adding that there is little consideration for the expenses and efforts of farmers for the price at which their products are sold, and there is a need for better marketing for their products.

Meanwhile, traders said that due to recent droughts and natural disasters, the harvest of fresh fruit has decreased.

On the other hand, the decrease in the price of Pakistani currency has caused traders to face many problems in trading goods with this country.

Economic experts said that the government should find different markets for the country’s fresh fruit exports.

According to them, in order to prevent the spoilage of farmers’ and gardeners’ products, cold storages should be set up in the country.

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HRW urges governments, IEA to reach agreement on banking issues

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(Last Updated On: August 5, 2022)

Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis cannot be effectively addressed unless the United States and other governments ease restrictions on the country’s banking sector to facilitate legitimate economic activity and humanitarian aid,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Thursday.

It said that the US air strike killing the al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri should not derail ongoing discussions between the US and Afghanistan to urgently reach an agreement allowing ordinary Afghans to engage in legitimate commercial activity.

“Afghanistan’s intensifying hunger and health crisis is urgent and at its root a banking crisis,” said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Regardless of the Taliban’s (IEA) status or credibility with outside governments, international economic restrictions are still driving the country’s catastrophe and hurting the Afghan people.”

Despite actions by the US and others to license banking transactions with Afghan entities, Afghanistan’s central bank remains unable to access its foreign currency reserves or process or receive most international transactions. As a result, the country continues to suffer from a major liquidity crisis and lack of banknotes, HRW noted.

Businesses, humanitarian groups, and private banks continue to report extensive restrictions on their operational capacities. At the same time, because outside donors have severely cut funding to support Afghanistan health, education, and other essential sectors, millions of Afghans have lost their incomes, according to HRW.

Overall, more than 90 percent of Afghans have been suffering from some form of food insecurity since last August, skipping meals or whole days of eating and engaging in extreme coping mechanisms to pay for food, including sending children to work, HRW said.

“Importers are struggling to pay for goods, humanitarian groups are facing problems with basic operations, and the Afghan diaspora can’t send enough money to their relatives and friends,” Sifton said. “Millions of hungry Afghans are experiencing the abysmal reality of seeing food at the market but being unable to purchase it.”

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